Today was really cool, and only a few minor mishaps. I started by giving in to the metro today mostly because I was going several miles away and I had a headach. I was riding down to the Arch de triomphe at the start of the Chambs elysees. I noticed something cool while on the train, there are parts of me that are distinctly New York and those parts are tough, confident, and they dont take crap from any one. Every one in the hostel seems frightened of the metro and its one of the only places I found so far that I actually relax. I am not afraid to try my french to say "Hold the doors", or to sit right next to someone. Although unlike in NY the French get very concerened when you sit in their personal space. I just remember thinking "Im a New Yorker and I will catch that train, and then sit if I want to, cause we New Yorkers know how its meant to be done." I wish I was a New Yorker in every thing I did, I would be such a bad ass then.
Another thing I have noticed is that there does not seem to be many folk with headphones here, shocking but true I have seen two people listening to music in 3 days. So when I start having a wee boogie to myself on the platform suddenly people give you a 100m clearence. They all looked at me like I was crazy or even dangerous. I thought it was a bit funny, but it didnt bother me in the slightest. This also struck me as odd cause I usually care a lot about what people think. So now I know, traveling by metro and dancing on platforms are two things I do with out fear, wierd huh?
Well I finally arrived by train to the Top of the Champs Elysees and the Arch. The Arch de triomphe is definately a ominous but yet graceful type of monument. It is made of a stunning white stone and the masonry work is incredible. They also have a tomb for the unknown soldier were a little flame is kept lit above it. Very tasteful.
The Champs Elysees is much like Hollywood Bullivard. Expensive, wide, glitzy, and full of itself. I past the windows of high paris fashion, diamond, crystal, overpriced sunglasses, leather, and shoes. The look on the street was either "I shop here," or "I would give anything to shop here." The Well Ta Do didnt sneer at my jeans and old boots, they didnt see me, as if I wasnt even there at all. I felt the need to break the mold, anti-conform as it were. So I did the only thing I could. I clicked my MP3 player to the punked out version of "Oh Champs Elysees" and started to skip. I had a great skip down the pavement, but eventually had to stop and have a laugh because it was as if the entire street froze with their mouths gapping wide and their jaws on the floor. I dont even get that kind of reaction on princess street.
On my way to the Rodin Musee, I accidently stumbled past the Le Musse de armoury. It was this really cool old building full of suits of armor, cannons, and all things to do with the army. I skimmed through most of the rooms but found two really cool things. One was a room with hundreds of flags that the French had captured from various battles. Including french crusaders, flags of pirates, and during the French/British wars over the colonies. There were ornate ones from the East, tatty ones from ships and plane old boring ones too. The point is that the French kept them all. The second place I absolutely loved was the church. It use to be law that the king could not worship with his subjects because he was above them and therefore closer to God. So in the 1600's the General of War asked for this architect to build a church were his solders can worship with the king they die to protect. The architect built two sperate entrances and buildings joined by an ornate glass wall. Next to this glass wall was the alter so the King could sit on one building and the army in the other and mass could be said to both of them at the same time. The church was unbelievably stunning and ornate, I think the time period lent itself to a high formal catholic design sparing no pennies on the gold accents. I sat down on a large padded leather pew and wrote in my journal for a bit. It was so warm and quiet. After almost an hour of resting I had to pry myself way. I think the thing I was most pleased with was that I was the only one there for the entire hour. Just myself, heating, a seat, gold decorations, carved stone, chandallers, and lovely harp music. It was extremely relaxing. I was also very proud because I was determined to read about the unique church divided by a large glass wall splitting the alter in two, so I focused and found a fair bit of my French comming back to me.
To add to the enjoyment I then went across the street to see the garden of the Mussee de Rodin. I had a picnic lunch in the garden under the Thinker, and strolled pleasantly around beautiful statues. Even Henry enjoyed himself.
I passed the Ecole de Millitaire on my way to the Eiffel tower. The tower itself is tall and impressive but I did not opt to climb to the top and see the towering views. Mostly I wondered around the base trying to avoid the men selling key chains rather persistantly.
All in all Im having a good day. Pleasent sight seeing, fairly relaxing, and I finished it with a chat to Andrew so that makes this day in Paris the best yet. What I have learned about home is that it can change who you are, or how you behave on a metro, and it is a place associated with safety or whats familliliar, also heating plays a large part in my life.
Tomorrow Versaille... SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
Missing you all desperately, I love you.